Hi, I’m Lyle Labardee, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Board-Certified Coach. I serve as Founder and CEO of Amplified Life Network. I’m passionate about bringing well-being to life; equipping those we serve with highly qualified and compassionate therapists, multi-disciplinary experts, and technology enabled resources.
With more than 25 years of clinical expertise, specializing in traumatic stress and personal frontline experience as an EMT and firefighter, along with years of experience growing and leading companies, I am passionate about serving and supporting first responders, military personnel, and business owners. I have experienced the acute stress that comes with what first responders experience almost every day. I understand the science and best practices involved in diminishing the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how to facilitate rest, recovery, and renewal. I also have a deep appreciation for the stresses and strains of founding, growing, and leading a thriving business.
I have experienced great success turning a boot-strapped startup into an Ernst and Young recognized, multi-million-dollar organization; and I have also experienced heart wrenching losses along the way. As so often referenced by a sports channel so long ago, I have experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. I have learned countless lessons, as well as, understand the stressors that impact business leaders and the vital importance that professional coaching plays in guiding their well-being.
In terms of my approach to counseling and coaching: I count it a privilege and an honor to walk alongside those I counsel, coach, and share in their life’s journey. My approach involves a lot of listening early on, as I seek first to understand before being understood. I’m pretty pragmatic. Your time is valuable, and I want to do all I can to use your time well and bring value back to you. I’ll do my best to accurately assess the level of distress you’re experiencing. We’ll work together on developing a plan and an approach that will help to diminish the intensity of the distress as quickly as possible. I’ll help you understand the basics of how our central nervous system works; what you can do to deactivate the stress response cycle and increase rest and recovery functions.
We might use a “top down” approach which involves using your own powers of self-observation and self-talk to switch off thoughts, that otherwise whirl around and around in a distressing, recurring, and persistent manner. Or, we might use more of a “bottom up” approach where we start with helping your body and brain simply relax, by using mindfulness and relaxation strategies. We might use a combination. In working with those who have encountered overwhelming traumatic experiences, I use trauma-informed approaches like EMDR, aimed at memory reprocessing. This approach has proved highly effective in diminishing heightened states of arousal associated with recollection of traumatic experiences.
When working with business owners and leaders, navigating next steps, or working through highly stressful circumstances such as: startup, wind down, re-organization, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, bankruptcy, or succession planning, I will rely heavily on a coach approach. This method involves the use of strategic, powerful questions. These questions, when asked and pondered in a relaxed setting such as ours, provides business owners and leaders with the physical and mental space to do what is otherwise surprisingly difficult to do when under pressure: think clearly and make good and wise decisions.
Given my area of expertise and work-life experiences, I specialize in serving first responders, including police officers, law enforcement professionals, EMTs, and paramedics. I also work with military personnel and combat veterans. In addition, I also work with business owners, business leaders, and others involved in family owned businesses.
I earned a Master of Science in Counseling from Gannon University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Dayton. I have extensive training and experience in emergency mental health, clinical counseling, professional coaching, emergency medical services, firefighting, fire service operations, and business development.
Following my early years in emergency medical services (EMS), including experience at Detroit General Hospital’s Trauma Unit and service as an EMT with the Dayton Fire Department, Station 15, I began my clinical career in 1984 working in the emergency services unit of Saint Vincent Health Center, a regional trauma center in Erie, Pennsylvania. I went on to serve there as an Associate Psychologist consulting to physicians in rehab and in general medicine. I also conducted neuropsychological evaluations and provided consultations at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. I served at that time with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire CISM team and provided post incident support to public safety officers involved in traumatic incidents, such as line of duty death.
In 1997 my wife, Susan, and I founded the leading nationwide network of mental health providers trained in post-incident response, Crisis Care Network (CCN). CCN now operates under new ownership and name, R3 Continuum. It remains the largest network of on-site response trained behavioral health providers in the US. CCN was recognized in 2002 by Ernst and Young (Entrepreneur of the Year) and received the ComputerWorld Honors Laureate in 2006, for its development and deployment of its Crisis Coach web app in support of the US Army Corps of Engineers responding to Hurricane Katrina. Susan and I founded Amplified Life Network in 2012. Amplified Life provides clinical counseling and coaching services to adults, couples, children, and families throughout West Michigan. Amplified Life also provides well-being resources and services to area employers, including Byron Township and Fire Department. In addition, Amplified Life provides well-being resources nationally to organizations such as: United Healthcare, Optum, United Airlines, Santa Clara County, EAP, The Johnson Space Center, Rutgers University, and Cal Tech.
On a personal note, I’m a lifelong follower of Jesus Christ and I believe in accepting and supporting people, wherever they may be at in their own spiritual journey. I’ve been happily married to my wife and business partner, Susan, for 36 years; I’m the father of three children and the grandfather of three wonderful grandchildren. In my free time I enjoy tending to our vintage farm property, restoring barns, training German Shepherds, playing hockey, running, and exploring new places.
If you would like to schedule an initial session with me, click the "Schedule With Lyle" button below; I'd be happy to meet with you and help you explore next steps.